Government to deliver fall fiscal, economic update

Surplus expected

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(MARCO DE SWART/AFP/Getty Images)

(MARCO DE SWART/AFP/Getty Images)

OTTAWA – The Harper government will deliver its fall fiscal and economic update today — a document expected to reveal the magnitude of Ottawa’s 2015 surplus.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver has maintained the government is on track to balance the books in next year’s budget, even as the world economy struggles and the declining price of oil hurts Canada’s bottom line.

The government also predicts it will still run a surplus even after unveiling a multibillion-dollar suite of cost-cutting initiatives for families with children under 18.

Oliver’s update is expected to show just how much surplus cash will be left over in the 2015 election year.

But the finance minister’s office has said the fall update won’t feature any new fiscal measures.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has predicted the government would achieve a small surplus next year, even with Ottawa’s family-friendly measures.

The family initiatives, including an income-splitting measure promised during the 2011 election campaign, will ensure cheques from Ottawa arrive in the mailboxes of Canadian families before the set election date in October 2015.

It remains unclear how the government might earmark any of the remaining surplus cash.

Harper has hinted Ottawa might deliver on another on another 2011 Conservative pledge: boosting the annual limit on tax-free savings accounts to $10,000, from $5,500.

On top of that, the Conservatives still have an outstanding promise to introduce an adult fitness tax credit.

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